The Centre North Adelaide Health Services (CNAHS) Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program has been recognised externally by experts in the field for its excellence, innovation and success. It addresses family violence by building community capacity to support safe families. It comprises a complex and dynamic set of group activities for Aboriginal women, men and youth.

The Program was developed and delivered by Terry Stewart and colleagues through the CNAHS regional Aboriginal health team and externally evaluated using a participatory action research approach. Its strengths include an evidence-based design, holistic approach, clinical focus, committed staff, inter-sectoral linkages, peer support, mentoring, and Aboriginal cultural focus.

Clients and workers overwhelmingly support the Program, and their stories illustrate its beneficial impacts on wellbeing of clients, families and the community, and increased capacity of services and workforce to address family violence effectively. The Program is clearly a successful model for family and community healing. Appropriate resources to sustain these benefits are recommended.

  • The Evaluation provides clear evidence of the value and benefits of the program.
  • The Report is being used to promote the Program and lobby for funds and resources to sustain and expand the program.
  • Workforce and service capacity to address Aboriginal family violence has been developed through the Program
  • Clients reported their positive experiences with the Program, some have moved on to education and employment, ripple effect to their families and communities.
Related resources:
  • Kowanko, I., Power, C., Stewart, T., Fraser, R. & Love, I. 2009, ‘An Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program in Metropolitan Adelaide’, ‘Living on the Edge’ Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs annual conference, Darwin 1–4 November 2009.
  • Kowanko, I., Stewart, T., Power, C., Fraser, R., Love, I. & Bromley, T. 2009, ‘An Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program in metropolitan Adelaide: description and evaluation ‘, Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 9(4), pp. 1–12
  • Kowanko, Inge & Power, Charmaine 2008, Central Northern Adelaide Health Service Family and Community Healing Program: Evaluation Report 31 March 2008, Flinders University, Adelaide
  • Kowanko, I., Power, C., Stewart, T., Wanganeen, I., Fraser, R., Love, I., Fielding, A. & Roberts, P. 2008, CNAHS Family and Community Healing Program, ‘Children Communities Connnections’ Conference, UniSA Mawson Lakes, 13–14 November 2008 [Abstract]
  • The Program was selected by the Productivity Commission report as a strategy that works in reducing violence in Indigenous communities in its 2009 report ‘Overcoming Indigenous Disdvantage: Key Indicators 2009’.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land across Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.